As many Rovers fans are well aware, last week marked the 10th anniversary of one of the best days the club has enjoyed in modern history. The League Cup triumph over Spurs in Cardiff was as much unexpected as it was celebrated and for many Rovers fans the day itself is up there with the triumphs of Wembley 92 and Anfield 95. At that time, there was a real feeling of unity between the manager Graham Souness, the team and the supporters and despite being in relegation zone, there was a sense that the club was in safe hands and heading in the right direction.
Fast forward ten years and the club again finds itself third bottom in the Premier League but the optimism of Cardiff has dissolved and Rovers' fans have never felt as disillusioned as they do now. Trust in the owners is a commodity that was thrown in the dustbin long ago and any reassurance from Steve Kean and the club is now eaten with copious amount of salt. The last rites of the Chris Samba saga signalled the end of yet another PR disaster which has characterised the Rovers of 2011-12.
The feeble surrender at Eastlands on Saturday in front of the TV cameras did nothing to show the watching football world that Rovers have the heart or spirit to survive the drop. There will be those who will say that it was inevitable that City would eventually overrun Rovers regardless of how well they would play and the acid test for Steve Kean will be the fixtures against teams in the same perilous position as Rovers. But one half hearted attempt in the entire 90 minutes was a pitiful return regardless of opposition and an insult to the small band of Rovers fans that made the short journey to East Manchester.
Yet again there was no leadership on the pitch but when a team offloads such experienced campaigners as Samba, Emerton, Nelsen, and Salgado in the space of four months without bringing in adequate replacements, it is no wonder there is no general on the field.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine who I sit with in the Darwen End said he would take relegation if it meant the Venkys selling up and moving on so signalling a change at the top and a brighter future for Rovers. Although the drop would be a hard pill to swallow, a change of ownership which may result would be a better scenario than another desperate and depressing season like the one which has epitomised 2011-12.
Whatever happens off the field, the middle of the next month will determine what division Rovers will be playing in next season. Although Rovers aren't playing on March 14th, 15th or 16th itself, with Villa, Wolves and Bolton all to play, Rovers should beware the month of March at its peril.
||Post your comment